The sounds of a time that was

In late 1773, James Watt, the engineer who made practical the steam engine, surveyed a route for a canal across Scotland. The Caledonian Canal was completed in 1822.

On 8 July 2019, as Peregrinus transited the Canal at the locks in Neptune’s Staircase, water cascaded from the top of the locks and rushed from culverts below in great maelstroms. At that moment, The Jacobite, a steam-powered train, passed by. It slowed down as it approached the railway bridge over the Canal, then accelerated again, chufing.

These were sounds of high-tech transport in the XIX century. Gushing waters in canal locks, pulsing blastpipes on locomotives. Alien to those of us who grew up with the rumble of Diesel engines and the whining of jet turbines.

No photo can capture the moment.